Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mmmm basil pesto...

I've never made pesto before. When I was vegetarian and just moved out of home, I literally lived off jars of Coles Homebrand basil pesto on angelhair pasta. If I splurged and bought fancy pesto I bought 60c homebrand spaghetti!

I made this specifically for an ingredient in dinner tonight. I got a nice big bunch of basil from the farmers market this morning (I'd have taken a picture but I put it in the coldest part of the fridge, unwrapped - mistake, don't ever do that. A couple of hours later when I got it out of the fridge to make the pesto it had started to turn black and go a bit goopy! Oh well, it's still good...just not photo quality.  I'd have made it out of my own homegrown basil but it really sucks at the moment. One little plant is powering on but the others are giving up on life. No sun! Dammit. I will be moving my pots to a sunny spot soon - hopefully no one moves/steals/knocks them over.

Anyway - to the pesto. I based it off a recipe in Vegan Italiano by Donna Klein. I love this book.

Basic basil pesto
Makes almost 2/3 cup

2 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil
3 tbsp almonds
3 garlic cloves, chopped
Few sprigs of parsley (I used curly-leaved, but Italian flat leaved would probably be better)
Few stems of garlic chives (my parsley isn't doing fantastically either)
1/4 cup rice bran oil

Put everything but the oil into a food processor and blend. Add the oil and blend until smooth :)

This was pretty good for a first attempt! I can't afford olive oil - I assume it would be much better to use than rice bran. Next time I might add a cup of spinach to it :) I can afford pine nuts even less. But I thought almonds were nice here :) It's not like you can really taste the nuts anyway.
We decided to have some on spaghetti for lunch. We can't resist pesto when we have it!

I fully intend on growing heaps of basil this summer so I can make big batches of it and freeze it into little individual portions to enjoy through winter :)

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